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Peanut Butter Recall - It's Deja Vu all Over Again

. By
Blakely, GAThe current Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) peanut butter / peanut product recall is eerily similar to the ConAgra / Peter Pan peanut butter recall of 2007. So why did the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) fail to learn from the prior foodborne illness outbreak?

Peanut ButterJust look at the similarities:

Both involve peanut manufacturing plants in rural Georgia;
Both involve salmonella-contaminated peanut butter.
Both investigations revealed prior positive results of salmonella contamination which were not disclosed to the FDA.
Both investigations revealed rat, rodent, and insect infestation of the production plants.
Both investigations revealed severely leaking roofs at each plant.
Both sickened 700 American citizens (PCA also killed 9).

So what ever happened to ConAgra?

First, ConAgra sent a reported $80 million to completely rebuild the plant, fix the roof, and install new machinery along the production line. Then ConAgra spent the next 2 years spending millions more settling lawsuits around the country with the citizens that had been sickened. Then ConAgra spent countless millions more on advertising to "rebuild" the Peter Pan brand name. ConAgra also had to recall and destroy thousands of tons of contaminated peanut butter--to the tune of many more millions.

A worse fate awaits PCA. PCA is out of business. Stuart Parnell, PCA's owner, is facing criminal charges for shipping salmonella-contaminated product across the country. The Hartford Insurance company (PCA's insurer) is faced with numerous lawsuits seeking all $24 million in Hartford's insurance proceeds.


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